Mets Promote Noah Syndergaard


In case you missed it, the Mets made two moves to their pitching staff: Dillon Gee was placed on the DL with a groin strain, and to replace him on the roster and in the starting rotation, the team promoted Noah Syndergaard from AAA Las Vegas.

Pitching for Wally Backman‘s Las Vegas 51s, Syndergaard was 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA (six earned runs/29.2 innings) in five starts, ranking fourth in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in ERA and fifth in strikeouts with 34. The phenom had a 19-inning scoreless streak going into his most recent start and allowed just two runs while striking out 27 in his last 22.0 innings. PCL opponents were hitting .192 against him, the third-lowest mark in the league and his 0.94 WHIP stands as the fourth-lowest in the league. In addition to his mound exploits, Syndergaard also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, a two-run home run, two runs scored and two RBI in his last start at Albuquerque.

There isn’t much more that the youngster could have done to prove himself at AAA, so with Gee going down, it makes sense to see what Syndergaard can do at the big-league level. He’ll make his MLB debut on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter.

For the record, I’m concerned about a major flaw in Syndergaard’s mechanics, which is illustrated in the photo above — his throwing hand is far behind where it needs to be at foot strike / front foot landing. Syndergaard was put on the DL last year with forearm issues, and experienced more forearm discomfort during spring training. Generally speaking, forearm problems are a precursor to UCL strains and tears. That said, I’ll be curious to see if he’s corrected his flaw since the last time I saw him pitch in March.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. AC Wayne May 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm
    I’m concerned about Syndergaard, forearm issues definitely a red flag, not sure if he’s big on pitches which are stressful to that part of his arm ala Tanaka, we can only hope it’s just normal wear-and-tear, more manageable than detrimental to his longevity as a starter, who knows, in the long run, he may be better suited for the BP
  2. Bat May 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    I read this blog religiously, and the problem with the type of analysis contained in the last paragraph of this post above is that Joe thinks nearly every pitcher’s mechanics are bad.

    So when Joe predicts all of these different pitchers will eventually get hurt, sometimes he is right because again he is predicting an exorbitant number of the pitchers (80%?) have bad mechanics, and invariably some of those guys in his predictions will indeed suffer injuries because pitchers do get hurt.

    I mean, if I, Bat, say in separate posts that (1) Thor, (2) Matz, (3) Mejia, (4) Familia, (5) Carlyle, and (6) and (7) the Torres brothers all have dangerous deliveries, inevitably I’ll strike gold with one of these guys suffering a major arm injury, and then when the guy in question is hurt I can re-post my original post and basically say “See, I told you so.”

    But is anyone keep track of all of the guys that Joe says have dangerous deliveries, but do NOT suffer major injuries?

    One thing I would agree – and I think it’s obvious if you’re a fan of baseball – is that forearm tendinitis in the pitching arm is not nothing. TC and to a lesser degree Alderson have routinely waved away forearm tendinitis as if it’s some minor issue, but forearm tendinitis in the throwing arm is often a precursor to Tommy John surgery (TJS).

    That’s not my opinion, it’s a fact and you can research and find countless examples of a pitcher complaining of forearm tendinitis, and his next start or appearance he gets hit hard, and soon thereafter the team announces that Altchek or Andrews or one of the other high-profile doctors have examined the pitcher and he needs TJS. This doesn’t just apply to the Mets but rather can be seen across baseball.

    • Dan42 May 10, 2015 at 8:03 am
      Looking at his last start his arm seemed higher at foot strike, much different than the picture above. It’s hard to tell from MiLB.TV low res screen shots, but I’d say his release point in now just after foot strike, not way after like it was.
      • Joe Janish May 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm
        In the videos I’ve seen of Syndergaard — which include what’s available on the interwebs going back a few years — his mechanics have been consistently inconsistent. Sometimes he gets his hand in the right place at foot strike, oftentimes, not. He also has changed the the tempo of his delivery and/or his arm and “telegraphed” certain pitches as a result. I hope we get to see a few different camera angles of several pitches on Tuesday.
    • Joe Janish May 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm
      Bat, have you listened to any of the podcasts I do with Angel Borrelli? We’ve discussed the red flags that ALWAYS lead to injury when left unattended (i.e., pitcher continues throwing, pitcher continues throwing with the same mechanics, pitcher is shut down until the pain goes away and returns throwing with same mechanics, or combination of all three). We also discuss the exact injuries that can result due to specific mechanical flaws. Actually, I should say, Angel accurately pinpoints and matches the flaw to the body part that gets injured (I’m not the expert on body movement, I’m simply the messenger).

      You’re correct in the assumption that nearly every pitcher has some kind of mechanical flaw. The shame is that all of these flaws can be corrected, and injury averted. Unfortunately, the people trying to make the corrections — or not trying, because they’re afraid to make corrections — are lay persons who have little or no background on body movement (i.e., pitching coaches). I’m going to keep beating the drum until someone in the pro ranks starts making changes that will affect the current course of injuries. I refuse to adopt Sandy Alderson’s bleak, hopeless outlook that pitching injuries are inevitable.

      All the podcasts (titled “The Fix”) can be heard at and at Blog Talk Radio. Although many of the episodes discuss timely news, most of the information is timeless, so listening to the archives going back to last year is useful for anyone who wants to get a better understanding of pitching injury prevention.